With a remote location in the extreme southeast of the archipelago, Espanola rarely gets the attention it deserves and few can say they have admired its colourful and wildlife-filled landscapes first-hand. Those who do make it here are rewarded with an unparalleled Galapagos experience with endless wildlife viewing opportunities that can be enjoyed away from the crowds. The island was one of the earliest of the Galapagos to be formed by volcanic activity and research has shown that Espanola may very well have been the place where intelligent life first developed in the archipelago.
The island itself is renowned for its diversity of landscapes. It is no exaggeration to describe Garden Bay, with its long stretches of white sand, and where visitors can sunbathe adjacent to sleepy sea lions, as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. The black basalt cliffs of Suarez Point is truly one of the best birdwatching spots in the Galapagos and the interior of the island is made up of lush and verdant vegetation which provides shelter for the islands many species of mammals and reptiles.
A birdwatcher’s dream, the island is home to Boobies, Galapagos Hawks, Mockingbirds and a number of Red-billed Tropicbirds. The biggest draw though is undoubtedly the Waved Albatross and Espanola remains the only island in the world to see them. Much of the other wildlife that the Galapagos is renowned for can also be found on the island and lava lizards, Marine Iguanas and Sea Lions can be spotted in vast numbers.
Although Espanola can be visited on a day tour from San Cristobal, this is not always practical or the best use of time. A better idea would be to choose a cruise itinerary that includes a stop to the island where more time can be afforded to explore its landscapes and to perhaps snorkel in its clear and marine-life abundant waters.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out some of our Galapagos itineraries.
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